One of the sad things of losing the farmland of the Rathdrum Prairie (or anywhere), and specifically family-scale farms, to housing development, is the loss of wildlife habitat.
Our farm, located in Bonner County, Idaho, is habitat for an amazing list of critters. Since we moved onto the land in 2006, we have seen the list and quantity of critters grow.
Dairy farms make great habitat.
These photos show a Northern Pygmy Owl. What you may not realize is this is a small bird – maybe 6 inches, and one of its favorite meals is songbirds. Their defense against it is they mob it. It has fake “eyes” on the back of its head, as shown in one of the shots. Experts think this is a defensive mechanism to make it look like it is watching a predator even when turned the other way.
Our farm makes great bird habitat because of all the bugs and other critters that take up residence here thanks to the increased nutrients made available by cows. We help them by providing habitat, and they help us by eating bugs and other things. We strategically left trees mixed with the southern end pastures not watered by wheel line so the birds would have roosting and nesting opportunities.
When you support family-scale, and especially organic, farming, you are supporting a healthy environment for all of God’s creatures. Remember, family-scale farms are wildlife habitat!
More information on Northern Pygmy-Owls can be found at one of our favorite websites: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Pygmy-Owl/overview